Ratha Saptami Folklore and Symbolism

Ratha Saptami is an auspicious festival celebrated by Hindus, dedicated to Lord Suryanarayana. Saptami Tithi is dedicated to Lord Surya. Shukla Paksha Saptami of Magha month is called Ratha Saptami, Achala Saptami, or Magha Saptami.

Ratha Saptami is composed of two words-Ratha means Chariot and Saptami mean seventh. Symbolically, the festival represents Lord Surya’s Chariot drawn by his seven horses to the northern hemisphere in the northeast direction.  

This is the day Surya was born in Kashyapa and his wife Adithi Sage. Therefore, it is also known as Surya Jayanti. It is believed that Lord Surya started enlightening the world on Saptami day which was considered as a birthday of God Surya.



Saptami is celebrated as the birth of Surya, with the saint Kashyapa and his wife Aditi. According to legend, King Yashuwama of the Kamboji Empire had no heirs to rule his kingdom.

Soon, his prayer was answered, and he was blessed by his son. His son is terminally ill. A sage visiting the king suggested that his son should perform Ratha Saptami puja to get rid of the disease.

After the puja, his health was restored and he ruled the kingdom. It was also said that Sage Bhisma took the last breath four days after Ratha Saptami was held in Ekadashi.

Quick Read: 7 Must Visit Places in Manikaran

What is the Symbolism of Ratha Saptami?

What is the Symbolism of Ratha Saptami
What is the Symbolism of Ratha Saptami

Saptami is the seventh day after the sun moved north from Capricorn. It is expressed as the sun god turning the chariot drawn by seven horses (using Aruna as the charioteer) to the northern hemisphere.

Seven horses symbolize seven days a week. The twelve wheels of the chariot represent the zodiac signs. The house of the sun is Leo, and he moves from one house to the next every month.

It takes 365 days to complete this cycle. Ratha Saptami marks the gradual increase in temperature across South India and the arrival of spring and harvest season. For Indian farmers, this is the beginning of the New Year.

Saptami is a very lucky day. In Hinduism, the sun god is known as the god of health and is worshipped for his health and longevity.

Read: Kotilingeshwara Temple: Place of Largest Lingas

What is the Significance of Ratha Saptami?

What is the Significance of Ratha Saptami
What is the Significance of Ratha Saptami

Surya is considered an important god because he is the source of life. This is why he was placed in the center of navagrahas (nine planets). Scientists have discovered that the sun is the center of all nine planets, and they all revolve around the sun.

Our sage discovered this truth thousands of years ago and mentioned it in many places in Hindu scriptures. The characteristics of the sun and all nine planets are clearly described in the Vedas.

One can identify these features in “Navagraha Hammansa” and is similar to what NASA scientists have described in their research findings. This is good proof that many aspects of the Hindu faith are scientifically important.

The text claims that the word “ratha” is a symbol of the soul. The mind is a chariot. Innumerable thoughts emerged in the mind. These ideas are like different horses, they take the ideas in many different directions.

To advance the mind toward God, the right horse should be pulled in the right direction. Indeed, this is the spiritual insight and deeper meaning of Ratha Saptami.

The Saptami festival is celebrated on the seventh day of the bright half of the lunar month (Magha). According to Hindu astrological estimates, the way the sun moves north is called Makara Sankranthi.

The seventh day is when the sun starts to gain momentum in the zodiac after rising to Capricorn. The northern movement Uttarayana is a “pilgrimage” and a direction to God. Some people say that we should pull our “mind”, that is, to follow Brahma Marg. This is also the desire of the supreme.

Lord Narayana was revered as Surya. In this form, the sun as Narayana is the worshipped “ūpasya” and “ūpāsanadvara”, which means that the outer sphere of the sun is the entrance to the center of Narayana.

Many people worship Surya because he is called “Aarogya and Aishwarya Datha” (provider of health and wealth). Early in the morning, when new sunlight appeared, Surya was worshipped.

Believe and prove that exposure to fresh sunlight can rejuvenate energy and purify the body and mind. This is why many Hindus do Surya namaskars (12 prone positions in Surya) when the sun is sunny in the morning.

Scientifically speaking, it is also recommended that you have many benefits that can expose them to sunlight as soon as possible.

Quick Read: Tarapith Temple Folklore, Facts and History

What are the Rituals associated with Ratha Saptami?

What are the Rituals associated with Ratha Saptami
What are the Rituals associated with Ratha Saptami

On the day of Saptami, devotees take a bath before sunrise. Ratha Saptami Snan is an important ceremony that should be performed during “Arunodaya”. It is believed that bathing during this time can free a person from any disease. In Tamil Nadu, devotees use Erukku leaves for sacred bathing.

On a chariot in front of their house, the women put together the statue of rangoli and the sun god and seven horses. Arka Leaf is another important aspect of this day. The married woman will put 7 erukkam leaves on her body, and put a little turmeric and pacharisi (raw rice) on the top of the leaves to take a bath.

When taking a bath, leave one leaf on your head, two leaves on your shoulders, two leaves on your knees, and two leaves on your feet. The man will only wash with erukkam leaves and rice without turmeric.

Provide “Arghyadan” to the sun god at sunrise. It was performed by supplying water to Lord Surya from a small Kalash in Namaskar Mudra. Many devotees performed this ritual 12 times and recited the twelve names of Lord Surya.

The devotee lit Diyas and worshipped the sun god with red flowers, camphor, and dhoop. It is believed that performing these rituals to the sun god will be endowed with good health, longevity, and successful experience.

Read: Ayodhya Ram Mandir (A Helpful Guide)

What are the offerings made on Ratha Saptami?

What are the offerings made on Ratha Saptami
What are the offerings made on Ratha Saptami

Recitation of Aditya Hridayam, Surya Ashtakam, Surya Shathakam, etc. will bring many benefits to people in terms of health, wealth, and success. In Taittareeya Aaranyakam, there is Aruna Prashna, one of the powerful recitations related to praying to Surya.

The saint Agasthya suggested that Lord worship Surya to win the war with Ravana. Sage Agasthya gave Lord Rama Aditya Hridayam upadesha (teaching) before the war began.

Sesame seeds can absorb and release large amounts of “sattva” (benign frequency). This seed is the sun’s favorite, so sweeteners made from sesame seeds can be provided as plain.

Also, light the lamp with sesame oil. The food associated with the sun god is wholesome wheat. The pudding is made from wheat or mashed avalakki.

Quick Read: Hanuman Garhi History, Folklore and Facts

What are the benefits of Ratha Saptami?

  1. People think-the sun god inspired the whole world with his light, strength, and power.
  2. It is believed that a bath in the era of Ratha Saptami can free a person from all diseases.
  3. On the day of Saptami, you purified the seven kinds of sins you committed in this life or previous life through the sacrifice of the previous life, ritual baptism, or some other ritual activities.
  4. Those who strictly observe fasting have longevity, good health, and wisdom.


Ratha Saptami is a Hindu festival, celebrated in February according to the Hindu calendar. This memorable festival is dedicated to Lord Sun and is therefore worshipped by Hindus every year.

Sun is the most auspicious and important planet in our Solar system and also has a lot of significance as far as astrological predictions are concerned, It is believed that if you pray to Lord Surya, He will always provide you benefic results and help you gain leadership positions in your life.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What is meant by Ratha Saptami?

Ratha Saptami or Rathasapthami is a Hindu festival that falls on the seventh day (Saptami) in the bright half (Shukla Paksha) of the Hindu month Maagha. It also marks the birth of Surya and hence celebrated as Surya Jayanti.

How is Ratha Saptami celebrated?

Clean the house properly and put the mango leaves on all the important places early in the morning or a day before in the evening of ‘puja’ day. After this start Ratha Saptami ‘puja’ with lighting a lamp and offering a simple prayer to God Ganesha.

Why do we celebrate Rathasaptami?

It showcases energy and activity and thus Rathasapthami is celebrated to commemorate the increased atmospheric warmth and energy through the transit of the Sun. Lord Vishnu is also worshipped on this day.

Is Saptami a good day?

Saptami born people are wealthy and will be of good character. They are the kind of people who have great respect for elders and also for learned people. Saptami is ruled by Sani, a division is Bhadra, the deity is Indra. If Saptami falls on a Wednesday, it is considered an auspicious day.